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MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES.
noticed that in the dramatis personm, and again
in the dialogue itself, Weisse has misinterpreted
the cobbler's name, Zekel Jobsen, and has it read
" Jobs Zekell." Many of the English puns, and
much of the word-play Weisse has not, of course,
been able to reproduce in the German text, but
occasionally he has made up for this by intro-
ducing a German pun, which is as good (or bad !)
as the English original. We find an instance of
this in the passage where the cook asks his new
mistress (the disguised cobbler's wife) what she
will have for breakfast, remarking : " Es ist auch
noch ein Stuck gebratener Kapaun iibrig."
" Nein, nein," says the ignorant peasant in her
innocence, "Karthauen esse ich nicht !" Another
device which Weisse uses to enliven the humor of
his translation is plenty of "stage business." A
case in point is found in the scene from which I have
just quoted where the cobbler's wife ends her con-
versation with the cook by saying, "I will take
whatever you please, Mr. Cook," and Weisse
adds the stage direction, " Kellner (geht ab und
wiederholt im Gehen immer die Worte :) Herr
Kellner, Herr Kellner I" Much of Weisse' s
translation is a very free rendering of the English
phraseology, even when there appears to be no
necessity for it. We can understand, to be sure,
how the translator might prefer to render the par-
ticular term "popish cur" by the more general
" Schlingel." But it seems as though Weisse has
gone a long way out of his path in translating the
phrase " I am a true English heart " by "Ich bin
ein ehrlicher alter Degenknopf ! "
Much of the popularity of Der Teufel ist Los
was due to the genuine folk songs contained
therein, some of them being translations, while
others, such as the extremely popular "Ohne
Lieb und ohne Wein," are German to the core.
It was the combination of folk song and folk life,
however, in Der Teufel ist Los that made it the
favorite of the German people, and at the same
time drew upon it the wrath of Gottsched and led
thereby to the downfall of his school. 3 Such in
brief is the history of Der Teufel ist Los.
Prineeton, N. J.
Alfred E. Eichakds.
3 See Minor, Lousing' s Jugendfreumde (Kurschners Deutsche
National-Litteratur, vol. 72, pp. xx-xxii). Also Minor,
Christian Felix Weisse und seine Beziehungen zur deutschen
Literatur des achtzehnten Jahrhunderis, Innsbruck, 1880, and
Scherer's Geschichte der deutschen Literatur, pp. 409 seq.
A STUDY IN LITERARY GENEALOGY.
To make a statement of plagiarism is a danger-
ous thing. Tennyson writing to a friend on the
subject said: ' ' Parallelisms must always recur.
Why not ? Are there not human eyes all over the
world looking at the same objects and must there
not consequently be coincidences of thought and
impression and expression." And he quotes a
Chinese friend who had found ' ' two lines of his,
almost word for word, in an old untranslated
Chinese poem." Everyone whose book -lore is at
all diversified or varied knows the truth of this
assertion. Thus in one day's reading the present
writer has noticed the suggestive likeness between
Longfellow's simile of the snow bridegroom in
Evangeline, and his friend Hawthorne's The
Snow Image. Or more verbally the k\vBwv 6Wi}s
trv/jufiopas of the last lines of the Oedipus Bex
recalls Hamlet's "sea of troubles," a quotation
that Lowell might have included in his abortive
attempt to prove Shakespere's Classical knowledge.
Though coincidences of this kind may be merely
chance, there are certain similarities that are more
than that ; they are frank imitation, or, if you
will — plagiarism.
Everyone has read Voltaire's famous Zadig and
and everyone remembers the amusing tale, Le
chien et le eheval. This tale has often been cited
as the initial example of that ratiocinative method
that Poe first applied to the detective story. But
as a matter of fact this story is very old and it has
quite a varied history.
Briefly Voltaire says : As Zadig is walking
near a small wood he meets the king's head hunts-
man who asks him whether he has seen the king's
horse that has escaped from one of the grooms.
"It is," replied Zadig, "the horse that has the
best stride ; it is just five feet high, has a very
small hoof, a tail three and a half feet long, etc."
"Which way did he go?" asks the huntsman.
" I have not seen him at all," replies Zadig, " and
I never heard of him before. ' ' They immediately
conclude that Zadig has stolen the horse and arrest
him. Scarcely has his sentence been passed when
the horse is recovered. Much surprise is expressed
at Zadig' s discernment and be is questioned on it.
' ' While walking in the woods I noticed the prints
of a horse at equal distances : there, I said, is a
horse that has a perfect pace. The dust on the
trees along the trail was brushed off just seven feet
MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES.
[Vol. xxi, No. 8.
in expanse. Therefore, the horse had a tail ex-
actly three feet and a half long."
The apparent genesis of Voltaire's story occurs
in a slightly different form in one Chevalier de
Mailly's Voyage et Aventures des trois Princes de
Sarendip, which appeared in 1719 — twenty-eight
years before Zadig.
The three princes starting out on their journey
encounter a camel driver who has lost one of his
herd. They have noticed the tracks of such an
animal, though not seen him, and when asked by
the driver if they know of his whereabouts, the
eldest replies, was he not blind? the second, did
he not have a tooth out? the third, was he not
lame? The camel driver assents with delight to
the questions and continues on his way rejoicing.
Not finding his camel, however, he returns and
accuses them of bantering with him. "To prove
that what we say is so, ' ' said the eldest, ' ' your
camel carried butter on one side and honey on
the other." The second, "And a lady rode
the camel," etc. In the same manner they are
arrested for theft and sentenced. And in the
same manner the camel is refound and an expla-
nation is given. ' ' I judged that the camel was
blind because I noticed that on one side of the
road all the grass was gnawed down, while the
other side which was far better was untouched.
Therefore, I inferred that he had but one eye else
he would not have left the good to eat the poor
grass." "I found in the road mouthfuls of half
chewed herbage the size of a tooth of just such an
This book of De Mailly's, which contains still
more deductions of the same nature is directly
transcribed from an otherwise unknown Italian
writer, Christoforo Armeno. His Peregrinaggio
di ire giovanni figliovoli del re di Sarendippo, of
which but three copies are extant, was printed at
Venice in 1557, with the papal permit dated
1555. It was translated into German in 1583,
and into French as early as 1610. Strange to say
the work through De Mailly's version was Eng-
lished twenty-four years before Voltaire's story,
while other renderings in Dutch and Danish
The title page of De Mailly's work reads Traduit
du Penan, and the original, dalla Persiana nell'I-
taliana lingua trapportato. But no direct counter-
part of Christoforo' s work has been found. All of
the stories, however, can be traced to various
oriental sources and it is likely that his book was
merely a collection of diverse tales. This par-
ticular episode of the lost camel is the oldest in
the volume. It is found in nearly all the eastern
languages — Arabian, Persian, Turkish, Indian,
Hebrew, — with slight variations.
The earliest apparent source is the tract Synhe-
drin of the Babylonian Talmud (c. 200). This
is the Hebrew version :
Two Jewish prisoners as they are led along say
to one another : ' ■ The camel that is ahead of us
is blind, besides he carries two leather bottles, one
containing wine, the other oil, of his two conduc-
tors, one is a Jew, the other a pagan." "How
do you know that ? ' ' questions their master. ' ' He
is blind because he grazes on one side of the way
only. Parallel to his tracks are little bubbles on
the surface of the earth — oil, and another liquid
that has sunk into the ground — wine. A little
later they declare that their lord is son of a dan-
seuse, that the meat has the tang of a dog and the
wine of death. On investigation, it is discovered
that the lamb which they had eaten was nourished
by a bitch, that the grapevine had grown on a
This story with unimportant changes, such as
salt and honey for wine and oil, that the camel is
lame instead of blind is found in no less than
eleven Oriental tales. It is thought by some to
be of Sanskrit derivation and is given an alle-
gorical meaning by Hebrew scholars.
Probably from these occidental sources the tale
came into Europe. Donatus, in his fictitious life
of Vergil (c. 400 ?), relates that Vergil asserted
that a horse newly presented to the king was
reared by an ass and that his majesty was the son
of a baker. Interesting to note a reasoning of
much the same kind occurs in the story of Hamlet
in the third book of the Historia Daniea of Saxo
Grammaticus (d. 1204), where Amleth deduces
that the wheat from which the bread is made grew
on a battlefield, that the lard is tainted with death,
that the queen is a wench. An almost exact coun-
terpart of this is found in Christoforo' s book and
it has a great similarity to the Talmud quoted
above. The story recurs also in an Italian novel
of Giovanni Sercambi. It is a curious fact that
MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES.
Voltaire's changing of the dromedary to a horse
also had a precedent. In the Maase Buch (1600)
a collection of Judea- German stories, three broth-
ers meet a Jew who has lost his horse. ' ' Was he
not white?" asked one. "And blind too?"
the other. "Besides he bore two casks, one of
oil the other of vinegar ? "
Doubtless M. de Voltaire would have been as
much surprised to find such an imposing ancestry
for his tale as the writer was, but at all events it
is quite apparent that he got his idea from De
Mailly's translation of Christoforo, or possibly
from some of the rarer ones before him.
SHAKESPEARE, Oth. 3. 4. 74.
On the lines,
And it was dyed in mummy, which the skilful
Conserved of maidens' hearts,
Steevens has (Shakespeare Variorum of 1813) :
'The balsamick liquor running from mummies,
was formerly celebrated for its anti-epileptick vir-
tues. We are now wise enough to know, that
the qualities ascribed to it are all imaginary ; and
yet this fanciful medicine still holds a place in the
principal shops where drugs are sold. So, in The
Bird in a Cage [1. 1 ; Dyce's ed. 2. 382], by
Shirley, 1633 :
" — Make mummy of my flesh, and sell me to the apothe-
Again, in The Honest Lawyer, 1616 :
" That I might tear their flesh in mammocks, raise
My losses, from their carcases turn'd mummy."
'Mummy, however, is still much coveted by
painters, as a transparent brown colour that
throws a warmth into their shadows. . . .
' So, in the Microeosmos of John Davies of Here-
ford, 4to. 1605 :
" — Mummy made of the mere hart of love." '
The ' witches' mummy ' of Macb. 4. 1. 23 has
no note in this edition.
Subsequent commentators on the Shakespearean
passages are rather meagre in quotation, if we may
judge by the Furness Variorum. The following
collocation of passages may therefore be welcome
to students :
Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, Glasgow, 1904,
5. 336 (The Pilgrimage to Mecca, ca. 1580) :
' Out of one of these [Pyramids near Cairo] are
dayly digged the bodies of auncient men, not rotten
but all whole, the cause whereof is the qualitie of
the Egyptian soil, which will not consume the
flesh of men, but rather dry and harden the same,
and so always conserveth it.'
lb. 6. 26 (Wm. Barret, in a list of goods for
trading, writing from Aleppo, 1584) : ' Momia
from the great Cayro.'
Du Bartas, Divine Weekes (1579, 1605-6), 2.
1. 1. 254 (Grosart 1. 101), emphasizing the
medicinal qualities of the Tree of Life, compares
it with nectar, ambrosia, the fruits of the Hes-
perides, moly, nepenthe, and elixir, but also with
Or Mummie ? or Elixir (that excels) ? . . .
Bacon, Nat. History 980 ( Works, ed. Sped-
ding, Ellis, and Heath, 2. 665) : 'Mummy hath
great force in stanching blood ; which, as it may
be ascribed to the mixture of balms that are glu-
tinous, so it may also partake of a secret propriety
in that the blood draweth man's flesh.'
Webster, White Devil (1612) 1. 1 :
Haue swallowed you like mummia, and, being sick
With such unnatural and horrid physic,
Vomit you up i' the kennel. . . .
Thomas Randolph, The Muses' Looking Glass
(written before March, 1634-5) 3. 1 (Randolph,
Poems, 1652, p. 39 of Muses' Looking Glass ;
Dodsley, Old Plays, ed. of 1780, 9. 214 ; ed. of
1825, 9. 182) :
'But I'll have one [tomb]
In which I'll lie embalmed with myrrh and cassia,
And richer unguents than the Egyptian kings ;
And all that this my precious tomb may furnish
The land with mummy [old spelling, Mummie]. . .'
Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia (1658), ed.
Evans, London, 1893, p. 81 (= Works, ed.
Wilkin, 3. 494) : ' The -Egyptian Mummies,
which Cambyces or time hath spared, avarice now
consumeth. Mummie is become Merchandise,
Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for